Walsall is being urged to back a community garden’s bid to win a national award.
Caldmore Community Garden, which evolved from a derelict piece of land thanks to the help of a range of partners including leading Midlands landlord whg and Walsall Council, is one of just three projects from across the country that is up for the Better Neighbourhoods award at the 2017 Community Impact Awards.
Voting for the awards, which are organised by the National Housing Federation (NHF) is open to the public, meaning that the garden needs the help of Walsall residents to secure the win.
Caldmore Community Garden was established by parent organisation Caldmore Village Festival to create a creative space in the middle of Caldmore, in Walsall.
The land was leased from whg, who have worked closely with Caldmore Village Festival to enable the garden to evolve from a small project. whg has worked in partnership with the group to help deliver a range of initiatives to increase community cohesion in the area.
The project provides creative, social and cultural activities to the local community and since launching, the garden has addressed tensions between new and existing communities. Its popular open days have also attracted thousands of visitors.
The garden is disabled friendly and also houses a sensory garden. It is open all around the year and its dedicated volunteers, all of a variety of nationalities, contribute more than 3,000 hours per year to enable the garden to thrive.
Mohammed Arif, chairman of Caldmore Village Festival, said: “"Thanks to our wonderful work from a large number of cross community volunteers and our great partnership with whg and Walsall Council, we have now transformed a derelict piece of land into the hub of the local community. Earlier this month the Caldmore Community Garden was rightly recognised and given an outstanding achievement award by The Royal Horticultural Society. It is disabled friendly and houses a sensory garden too. We are proud of our achievements".
Gary Brookes, whg’s Director of Housing, said: “We are delighted to see Caldmore Community Garden on the shortlist of the NHF’s coveted Community Impact Awards. The garden is a great initiative that is really bringing the community of Caldmore together. We are delighted to work in partnership with Caldmore Village Festival and we hope that everyone gets behind the garden to help it get this important recognition.”
Cllr Ian Shires, Portfolio Holder for Community, Leisure and Culture at Walsall Council, said: “I’m very pleased that Caldmore Community Garden has been nominated in these important national community awards. It is testament to the hard work and energy of its volunteers and business partnerships. They know how important lovely, living and growing spaces are to Walsall communities and to Caldmore. We can all take pleasure in what they’ve created and say a big thank you. The look of a town all year round is so very important for the people who live there as well as new visitors. It’s what encourages business growth, regeneration and civic pride.”
Voting for the awards is now open. Anyone can vote until voting closes on Sunday, 12th November.
To vote, CLICK HERE.